Maria Abranches


  • 1.13 ZICER Building

Personal profile


I have a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, where I also worked as an associate lecturer and tutor, until I joined DEV in July 2014. Before moving to Sussex I worked for several years as a professional researcher and consultant in academic and non-academic sectors in Portugal, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the High Commission for Migration in Lisbon. I have also worked continuously as a professional trainer in migration-related issues, in public and private non-profit organisations.

Key Research Interests

My research is mainly concerned with mobility and migration. I have worked for many years in Lusophone Africa (Guinea-Bissau and Angola), where I looked at the social and cultural aspects of food, and their integration in transnational economic life. More recently I have started researching migration in the UK, and I became interested in the use of photography, film and in arts-based methods of research more genereally. My work has involved a combined use of visual and oral narratives in the study of racism, political attitudes and social inequalities in the context of Brexit in Great Yarmouth, and I am currently involved in a ESRC-funded international research project on Coastal Transformations (, where I coordinate the WP on Heritage in the East Anglian region of the UK, looking at experience, discourse and performance in people's memories of the past. I work in collaboration with the local museum sector, following a Museum-University partnership that I coordinated, funded by the Arts Council, exploring issues around migration in Norfolk through a combination of arts and research. My most recent project, "When the Dust Settles: Exploring the Lived Experience of Refugee Families after Reunion" is a British Academy Innovation Fellowship project in collaboration with Together Now - - to explore the longer term lived experience of refugee families – one or more years after the arrival of relatives through the process of family reunion – in the UK. It uses participatory methods based on oral and audiovisual narratives.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or